Book of Life Statements
Steve and Shelly Abramson
Shelly and I both come from families that believe in the power, honor and responsibility of tzedakah and the federation’s role in perpetuating that value. The power of working together, as reflected in the federation, enables all of us to achieve higher, common purposes, and together, we enrich more lives than any one of us can be working alone. The honor comes from knowing that, by performing acts of loving kindness as part of a community, we follow a tradition that has been part of our sacred trust as a people for thousands of years. And the sense of responsibility comes from the knowledge that fulfilling the obligation of performing acts of tzedakah through the federation uniquely contributes to making the circle of Jewish life complete, and sets an example for generations to come.
Phil and Irma Ames
We are grateful to our parents and grandparents for instilling in us a commitment to Judaism.
As founders and past presidents of a synagogue, we have learned that a temple is more than a place to gather, study, learn and worship. It instills in you the traditions and values of tzedaka and tikun olam.
It is our responsibility to set an example for our four plus children and their heirs.
Irving and Cecelia Appelbaum
The Community Foundation is truly a big asset to our Jewish community and we are happy to have had the opportunity to be a part of it.
We feel that our life has been greatly enhanced by living in this San Diego community, and we want to be a part of the Book of Life to support some of the institutions that have enriched our lives. Thus, upon our deaths, the balance of the Appelbaum Family Fund, will be distributed to enhance the Jewish community in which we are so proud to participate.
Susan and Perry Arenson
We have both grown up in families that have led by example. Our families have instilled upon us the importance of the future of Judaism and we have benefited from their legacy.
As our children grow up and have children of their own, we want to ensure that they, too, have continuity in the foundation of Jewish culture, Jewish history, and Jewish education. It is our hope that our legacy to them will create a stepping-stone for future generations to come. And perhaps our small footstep in our own community will continue the legacy that has been left to us, and will be passed on, Dor L’Dor, from generation to generation.
While making notes to myself just before I met with an attorney to establish my own trust a dozen years ago, I decided that I wanted to translate my Jewish caring into giving to this community beyond my own lifetime.
For most of my adult life, I actively worked for Jewish philanthropy while also making gifts to annual campaigns, agency needs and special appeals. But, it wasn’t until I had to compose my own will did I truly realize that the future health of an organization lies in endowments that provide future generations the flexibility to respond to changing times.
Individual women who create such gifts do not have to be wealthy, they just need to step up to the plate when it comes to making decisions about their charitable giving beyond lifetime giving.
I would like my story to be an example for other women who will make similar financial decisions for themselves.
Diana Barliant and Nowell Wisch
We strive to continue supporting Jewish causes to carry on the legacy passed down from our parents and our family. We recognize the need to mentor our children and grandchildren on their responsibility to the Jewish community and support Jewish causes.
There is no greater good that one can render to the future than teaching our children by example on what it takes to be good citizens and Jews.
Jacob and Leslie Bercovitz
Our family is very fortunate to belong to a very warm and caring Jewish community. Our Holy Day celebrations have become more meaningful when shared with some of the friends we’ve made over the years by participating actively in our Synagogue and Day School.
It is our hope that our Synagogue and community continue to grow and prosper serving the needs of other families like ours. Through our endowment gift we feel we are doing our part in continuing this legacy for our children and grandchildren. By contributing to their economic survival we can guarantee a place of worship, of continued Jewish education and Torah study as well as participation in activities that will bond the Jewish community for generations to come.
Edgar and Julie Berner
My maternal Grandparents came from a shtetl in Romania where Grandpa Leibowitz was a farmer. He left his pregnant wife, Lena, four other brothers and two sisters in 1911 to come to New York seeking freedom. After sending for Lena he proceeded to bring each family member over one by one.
My mother, Jessica, was the oldest of three sisters, all born in America. Grandpa Leibowitz set the benchmark for so many of my basic beliefs. A love of country, of service and respect for all peoples, a belief in the goodness of people and above all the importance of family and the handing down to future generations the moral, educational and family values as taught by Judaism.
Julie’s Grandparents came from Hungary and Russia. Her Father Martin Friedenberg, a physician, was a true Patriarch whose gentle nature was loved by patients, friends and family. His wife Rose, his children Julie, Tess Tessler, Linda Bjork, and Andy Friedenberg remember him with loving thoughts.
It is our hope and prayer that our five children Jessica Friedman, Darryn Lowenstein, Mitchell Berner, Kevin Berner and Tracy Cohen teach their children tzedakah, personal and social responsibility, love of our country in spite of its faults, love of learning and education, love of family and friendships, and an understanding of all the beautiful wisdom contained in the teachings of Judaism.
Years ago I was shown how each of us can have a positive impact on the worldwide Jewish community by our knowledge and involvement.
Today I am actively pursuing my commitment to strengthen the existence of specific Jewish organizations that I place great value on.
Looking forward, I am very proud and blessed to make my bequest to ensure that their future existence will continue long after my personal involvement.
My passion for the Reform Jewish Community was following in the footsteps of my predecessors. In that light I have spent 23 years serving on the boards of trustees of three Reform Congregations: Emanuel Congregation in Chicago, Illinois; Temple Judea in Tarzana, California; and Temple Adat Shalom in San Diego, California, where I continue to serve as an octogenarian member of the Board of Trustees. Part of my purpose on this earth must be to serve the Jewish Community and to leave a loving legacy to my congregation.
Donald and Betty Byrnes
Both of our families brought the concept of tzedakah to our generation, and we have passed it on to our children and grandchildren at a very early age. Not until later did we both realize that tzedakah is a Jewish tradition and responsibility, not just the right thing to do.
The joy of giving to improve the quality of life for those less fortunate lights up our lives. We feel proud and fortunate to be able to leave a legacy to help continue the outstanding work of the San Diego Jewish community.
Peter and Elaine Chortek
Dor L' Dor was said often in our homes as we were encouraged to become educated and grow to be "menchen". We find ourselves using the same mantra with our children and grandchildren as we encourage them by word and example to commit themselves to the Jewish community.
We have found that involvement and giving not only helps others, but strengthens and enriches our family. By endowing continuing philanthropy, we can provide for both the future Jewish communities and the next generations of our family.
At the age of eighteen, in my first semester of college, I wrote to my parents about what I thought my life’s path might be. My letter stated: ‘I think it will have something to do with helping people’. When I discovered the letter in an old shoebox eighteen years later, I was able to look back and connect the dots to see that indeed my life’s many activities embraced the theme of helping people in some manner. I was inspired by the self discernment of that moment.
The ability to give back and contribute – of time, talent, and financial capacity – is a motivating force for me. I am inspired to help others and understand their charitable capacity for doing good in the world. In the mode of living through giving we enhance our true happiness.
My legacy gift to JCF San Diego is in the belief that a vibrant community foundation will provide strong leadership for the larger Jewish community of San Diego – and elsewhere. Jewish Family Service and the Jewish Community Center are central to the quality of community life and are beneficiaries of legacy gifts.
I am grateful to live in a wonderful city, surrounded by inspiring examples of philanthropy, and desire to do ever more to secure the future of the Jewish Community.
Melvin and Betty Cohn
Betty and I have always felt that our family has a duty to share the fruits of our labor with those in need. We believe that this has been instilled in our children and grandchildren.
Recently we read the following quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
"To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – this is to have succeeded."
May these principles be upheld by the loved ones who will follow in our path.
Eilene and Arthur Cummins
We have lived in San Diego for over four decades and we have seen the wonderful growth of the Jewish community here. We have made a legacy gift to the Soille San Diego Hebrew Day School to help ensure continued vibrant Jewish life in San Diego. We encourage everyone to make a similar commitment to the agency of his or her choice. Thank you to the Jewish Community Foundation for all that they do to guarantee the future financial well-being of our Jewish community.
Forty-nine years ago I came to the USA from England. A zigzag route since then has resulted in planting my roots in San Diego. Attending the 2005 Congregation Beth Israel Yom Kippur service, I was treated to the presence of Rabbi Paul Citrin. I knew this was to be my House of Worship. Since then my spiritual life has become personal perfection, and meeting fellow members has created warm friendships. However, tomorrow is another day, and in the current mode of Middle East upheaval, it is imperative we look ahead to the Jewish future where we live. Hence, it is my pleasure and honor to designate an endowment for Congregation Beth Israel.
Mark and Jeanne Dillon
It is our privilege to participate in the San Diego Legacy program. We do this in honor of our parents who set and continue to provide exemplary role models as donors and active volunteers to the religious and secular communities in which we were raised. We are especially dedicated to Temple Adat Shalom, which has become part of our extended family since moving here in 1991. Our children benefited from Jewish programs that were available from elementary school through high school and helped to shape their Jewish identity and the importance of Tikkun Olam. We hope for these traditions to be continued l’dor v’dor, from generation to generation.
I had been giving a gift and volunteering at the Federation for several years before a UJC mission to the Former Soviet Union really opened my eyes to how crucial our gifts are to the survival of the Jewish people.
The gratitude we received from the beneficiaries of our donations was overwhelming. This experience solidified and justified my commitment of both time and money to the United Jewish Federation. Now I endow my gift to ensure that the support I give today will last in perpetuity, so that my children and their children can live in the vibrant Jewish community we have built. I am proud to help secure the future of Jewish life in San Diego and around the world.
I learned about tzedakah early in life as both my parents were involved in the local Federation in Minneapolis. My parents’ legacy is a foundation they created with the Federation as the supporting organization.
I want to leave my own legacy for several reasons. First, to allow the Jewish community to continue to benefit from a gift even after my lifetime. Second, to help ensure a vibrant future for the Jewish community that my children will be proud to be part of. And third, to set an example that in tzedakah dor l’dor.
Amy Corton, Carl, Emily and Cameron Eibl
As a family we have benefited from the legacies of others who have come before us. We belong to a beautiful synagogue and have enjoyed the many programs supported by Congregation Beth Israel and by other Jewish organizations. We are blessed with the opportunity to help support those who will follow us.
David and Claire Ellman
We are honored to fulfill our obligation of supporting the Jewish community through the mitzvah of "tzedakah".
Generations before us have passed on this tradition to us and by making this promise we hope to pass on the same legacy to our children. We are committed to ensuring the survival and growth of a vibrant, learned Jewish community in San Diego and through giving charity we can make a difference in achieving this goal.
Our children are our precious gifts. It is our responsibility to create and enhance every possible opportunity for them and their fellow Jews to live a rich life steeped in our Jewish heritage and teachings. With this knowledge they too can pass on to their children these attributes to ensure Jewish survival for the future. Thanks to the Jewish Community Foundation for giving us this opportunity.
For me, Jewish continuity is of utmost importance. The synagogue, with its focus on so many aspects of Jewish life, with outreach, education for both children and adults, opportunities to worship and celebrate holidays and life events, ways to volunteer and become involved in doing mitzvot – is the primary instrument for preserving our Jewish heritage.
That is why it is important to insure that Temple Adat Shalom remains a focal point in our future. A great way to do this is through a gift annuity. I gave some stock and received a tax credit for that year and have been receiving quarterly payments every year since then. The interest rate for those over age 60 is quite good.
So I benefit from my contribution, not only financially, but from knowing that I have helped to perpetuate our Jewish legacy.
Walter and Pam Ferris
One of the most meaningful Jewish values that we place in high regard is the importance of tzedakah. As parents, we take tremendous pride in demonstrating this value to our two wonderful children, and hope they too will pass on this legacy to their children.
As members of our San Diego Jewish community, we are pleased to know that our support will benefit those who will come after us as we have benefited from those before us. If we don’t carry on the Jewish values and traditions, the Jewish religion will fizzle out. Signing the Book of Life is one way to ensure this won’t happen.
I was born in St. Louis, Missouri, to parents who were both born in that city. Their parents came from Poland and Lithuania, in the late 19th century flood of Jews and people from all over Europe who came to the Golden Land of America. Now all six of my children and grandchildren have lives of freedom and security in this country.
I feel that my work as a teacher and therapist has served our people and our country. Although I have lived my life in freedom and peace, and served for two years as a soldier, I know that the security and freedom we all enjoy, as Jews and as Americans, must always be guarded and watched over, in order to be preserved for our children, and for generations to come.
I began my life as a child in war-ravaged Hungary, and now have the sweet luxury to live my golden years in freedom, security, and peace in San Diego.
In between came years of loss, imprisonment and exile, before my family and I were allowed to come to the United States.
As a musician and teacher I have tried to be a good American. I have never forgotten my roots as a Jew, fortunate enough to have been saved from the Holocaust. I wish for my sons, and their children yet to come, to always know of their good fortune to be Jews in America.
Tom and Judy Fisher
We feel an obligation to honor and preserve the legacy of Jewish values, including giving tzedakah and loving your neighbor as yourself, left to us by our parents, of blessed memory. By contributing to the Jewish community where we live, we want to preserve this legacy by teaching philanthropy to our children, so they in turn can teach it to their children.
To honor the memory of our parents, to further our support for the continuation and strengthening of Jewish life in this land, in Israel and throughout the world, and especially to set an example for our future generations, we created our fund at the Jewish Community Foundation and will continue to build our family’s legacy.
Judy’s father often quoted Hillel in Pirkei Avot, "If I am not for myself, who will be? If I am only for myself, what am I? If not now, when?" Creating our fund at the Jewish Community Foundation answers all of these questions by allowing us to create an ongoing legacy for our family.
Tzedakah has long been a tradition in my family. Starting with my father’s father, who never turned anyone away when they came to his door asking for help. As a child growing up in San Diego, I can remember my Mother helping to resettle refugees from the war. I have always felt it a privilege to help others in need and to help build the Jewish community.
The Federation has been the training ground for leadership, which benefits the entire community, Jewish and non-Jewish. The empowerment of women was recognized early in its history and women have played a vital role in the growth and shaping of Jewish life.
Endowing my gift is my way of making sure these traditions continue, for my children and grandchildren and their children.
The survival and growth of the Jewish community is of prime concern to me. Since I was a small child, I have learned that philanthropy is an integral part of Jewish life. A means to repay our community for all they have given our family is to endow our gifts to the United Jewish Federation so that they can continue to help those less fortunate for years to come.
I have received a strong message from my parents that after providing for our families’ needs we must be concerned about the community’s needs. I hope to pass this feeling on to my children and grandchildren, as well.
To provide for the critical needs in our Jewish community there is no better means than to support the United Jewish Federation since I know there will be a thoughtful, strategic and integrated approach to the multitude of valid demands for my charity dollars. I like that Federation is dedicated to the entire community and that one gift can touch so many lives.
I come from a family that immigrated to Lima, Peru in 1939 from Romania, three months before the Second World War. My mother lost all her family in the Holocaust. I was born, raised and went to school in Lima. I grew up in a small community in which being Jewish and being identified as a Jew was as critical as my survival. At home and in the Jewish community, anything that had to do with Israel or Jewishness was embraced with “both arms.”
I came to San Diego in 1966 for a job that was offered to my then husband.
I want to honor my parents for their love, dedication, tenderness and for providing me with such a strong sense of Jewish identity. They did not have much money but they contributed money to the “pushka” of Keren Kayemet. I never went to a Jewish Day School and for that reason I placed both my children at the Hebrew Day School in San Diego for five years. I saw the relationships they fostered, the discipline they acquired and the joy of their participation at Shabbat dinner on Friday night.
As I arranged my trust, one of the most important things I wanted to do was to leave funds to the Soille Hebrew Day School for scholarships to children that wanted to attend and have a solid Jewish and secular education whose parents could not afford the tuition. I feel my contribution can perpetuate Jewish education for future generations.
Jean and Franklin Gaylis
Whether you believe in the Jewish dictum: “Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh la Zeh” or “Zeh ba Zeh”, it remains that all Jews are responsible to or for each other. This is the lesson we learned growing up in our privileged, Jewish, South African community, and one we wish to pass on to our beloved children, Greg and Jackie, their future families, and the wonderful San Diego community who became our mishpochah too.
As descendents of Latvian and Lithuanian immigrants, we were taught the values of building and giving back to a cohesive community, supporting family, friends and those less fortunate than ourselves, commitment to Zionism and to Israel, ensuring a rich Jewish education, practicing principles of yiddishkeit, and honoring those survivors and brave Jews who paved the way for our strong Jewish identity and Jewish cultural continuity.
By signing this Book of Life, we hope to pass on this legacy of never forgetting our past, building the rich diversity that is South African/American Jewry today, and striving for a healthy, happy, prosperous, peaceful, future for all – Kol Yisrael.
Jay and Lisa Gelbart
We can’t put into words exactly why we give tzedakah, we just feel it’s our responsibility to do so.
Morris and Phyllis Gold
Our tradition teaches in Ethics of Our Fathers, “Do not separate yourself from the community.” Therefore, it is our responsibility to help provide for our Jewish community. We here in San Diego are so blessed that we can further the array of Jewish causes during our lifetime. Central to our Jewish connection is our synagogue, Congregation Beth El, through which learning and active participation takes place. It is fitting and appropriate for us to help provide for its future so that others can benefit from its continued role in the Jewish community.
Jerold, Linda and Matthew Goldberg
Judaism is not only our religion, it is also the glue that has helped to bind our family together and to link us to our past and to our future. And we believe that, while Judaism has been blessed with many institutions which give it vitality and life, the synagogue is the one place where Jews are not only found, but where they are made. Therefore, we can think of no better financial legacy to leave with our Jewish people than one which helps assure the future of our synagogue, Congregation Beth Israel.
Early in October 1931, my Grandfather and I were en route to San Antonio’s railroad station. I was leaving Texas for the first time, age seventeen, to enter the freshman class of the University of Chicago.
My Grandfather was my legal guardian as well as a loving grandparent. He had last minute advice; "Use your time well, I’m certain that you know how fortunate you are." I kissed him good-bye and boarded my train.
I returned to San Antonio for holiday vacation. My quarterly exams were over, my grades were excellent. Granddad complimented me on my successful first quarter and then surprised me. "And what are you doing for others?" I explained the demands on my time to achieve those grades. "Can’t you find an hour or two each week to help some not as fortunate as you? Never forget, my darling, with privilege comes responsibility."
From age 17 to 90 I have lived with his words. Returning to Chicago I learned that the Jewish Peoples’ Institute needed leaders for after-school play groups to keep immigrant children off the streets. Every Friday afternoon I rode two busses from one side of Chicago to the other to lead a playgroup. I have the feeling that my grandfather sits on his cloud nine watching me and I like to think that he is thinking, "I think that she really listened to me."
Mel and Rory Goldberg
Our synagogue has been a strong influence on our family’s religious beliefs and practices since we moved to San Diego from Los Angeles in 1963. Although Rory grew up in an active Jewish home, attending Sunday school and observing all the holidays, Mel’s family was not affiliated with a congregation and they did not regularly observe the holidays. But belonging to Tifereth really helped make Judaism an important part of our family’s life.
Mel served on the Board as treasurer for several years and Rory, in addition to being involved in a variety of Sisterhood activities including managing the gift shop as well as baking and cooking for Shabbat, also served as president of the Synagogue for two terms. During our 49 years of marriage, we have also celebrated many life cycle events at Tifereth, such as the births of our three daughters; their religious education including Bat Mitzvahs; the marriage of two of our daughters and the birth of three grandchildren.
Through our association with Tifereth, our family’s connection to Judaism has continued to grow down through the generations. Our daughters’ families both belong to Jewish congregations in their local cities and each of their children have become a Bar/Bat Mitzvah. Our grandchildren regularly volunteer their time helping at Sunday school and tutoring other children in Hebrew.
The importance of Judaism in our family has led us to the decision to leave a legacy to Tifereth Israel Synagogue. By making this commitment, we are contributing to the survival, growth and future of our Jewish community.
Herman and Jean Gordon
My bread is buttered on both sides. My immigrant parents gave me Jewish genes and Jewish values. Then Jean, the love of my life, instilled Tzedakah and caring in our five children.
Jean and I wish to share our blessings by helping preserve and further our Jewish peoplehood. We pray that it will be multiplied five times by our children and even more by generations that follow.
In tzedakah dor l’dor.
Barbara, Graham and Amanda Haworth
Our family has always taught that it is each of our personal responsibility to care for and build our community, to take care of others, and to share the gifts of what we have with those who do not. Our legacy gift to the community insures that our values will live on and that the acts of kindness we value in life will continue after our deaths. Our gift is also made in memory of those who came before us and taught us what it means to be responsible for each other. Just as we name our children for those who had come before, we honor them once again with a legacy to what they instilled and passed on to us.
In endowing my gift to the United Jewish Federation Women’s Division I gratefully acknowledge my parents, Stanley and Pauline Foster, whose vision and generosity in establishing the Foster Family Foundation has enhanced my ability to fulfill the mitzvah of tzedakah in the San Diego Jewish community, Israel and around the world. By creating our family foundation they have provided an instrument to translate the values learned from their parents, and their parents before that into much needed support for religious, educational, cultural and social service agencies and institutions.
I hope to pass on to my children and the generations that follow a commitment to shared communal responsibility and the satisfaction that comes from collaborating with others for the common good. Philanthropy provides a meaningful avenue to help realize my ideal of being a worthy link in the unbroken chain of Jewish life, a connection forged from a long and momentous history, and passed on from Abraham to the present day.
There are many ways to leave a legacy. One. A legacy of love. Two. A legacy of caring. And three. A legacy that will perpetuate the importance of being Jewish. Our Temple encompasses all three.
Harriet and Norm Herman
We are grateful to our parents and grandparents for instilling in us a commitment to Judaism.
Tzedakah has been an important and integral part of our family values for as long as we can remember. The importance of passing on our traditions and heritage to the next generation was modeled through our grandparents, parents, and now our commitment to our children. Our families emphasized the importance of being Jewish, and continuing to pass on our traditions and heritage to future generations.
As young children in Bergen County, New Jersey, we remember experiencing prejudice and unkind remarks from neighbors and classmates because we were Jewish. As we reached our teen years, the climate of acceptance and respect had greatly improved, as the Jewish population in the area increased.
When we were married, as it says in the Shema, we made a commitment to honor each other while passing down Jewish traditions to our children. As career opportunities brought our family to different regions of the country, both of our children
attended Hebrew School, were Bar/Bat Mitzvah, and continued their formal education through Hebrew High School. We celebrated holidays with the traditions, which were important to us from our own childhoods.
We relocated to San Diego in 2003, and were fortunate that our daughter decided to move to San Diego in 2007, where she met and married her wonderful husband. We now have a new generation in our family to share the joys, traditions, and heritage of the Jewish people. Our grandson, although not quite two years old, already demonstrates his love of Shabbat and the holidays as he sings (in the tone of candle lighting prayers) whenever he passes by any lit candles, and (in the tone of Hamotzei) when we cut any type of bread. He enjoys going to Shabbat services, and is enjoying the food, songs, and traditions of each holiday as we celebrate together. We look forward to having him share his knowledge with his, soon to join the family, new brother or sister. Our son and his wife, who are traveling abroad, hold strong commitments and live the values, which are so much a part of our Jewish culture.
We are fortunate that we can share and pass down our traditions and experiences personally with our family. Through our Legacy Gift, we are proud to give the opportunity to others to continue to share the rich traditions, which are important to all of us as Jewish people.
Volunteering and community support has always been part of my life. Beginning with my childhood in Evanston, Illinois, I remember how my parents took an early and active role in our public schools, Girl Scouts, United Way, school board caucuses, Women’s American ORT, and much more. As a young adult I continued as a volunteer in that community.
My husband and I have continued this commitment throughout our married life in San Diego, and we are proud that our sons consider tikkun olam an important part of their lives, too. Our older son is just completing his second year as a volunteer with AmeriCorps*NCCC, having served in many projects, such as helping senior citizens and students in public housing in Queens, NY; fighting wildfires in Montana; delivering food and supplies to victims of Hurricane Isabel. Our younger son, an Eagle Scout, has volunteered in San Diego and Chicago for numerous projects, and years ago, he even donated a portion of his Bar Mitzvah gift money to helping the Jewish community of Argentina rebuild after the terrible bombing there.
Thus, my decision to include the Jewish community as part of my estate planning was not based about any concern about my children’s values. I trust their instincts and our tradition of philanthropy. Rather, I felt compelled to make a legacy gift to the American Jewish Committee because this one organization best represents the confluence of my identity as a woman, as a Jew, and as an American. I strongly support its mission and its prodigious accomplishments of strengthening democracy and pluralism so that we as Jews, and indeed, so that all people, can flourish. AJC’s work underlies and makes possible the very existence of all the other organizations and projects that I value – public education, justice and civil rights, Jewish continuity, the State of Israel – and I therefore wanted to ensure its future.
Karl and Audrey Jacobs
Torah is a precious gift. Audrey and I are indebted to the Soille Hebrew Day School for all it has done to preserve and transmit Jewish learning to generations of students and their families.
It is a joy for us to fulfill the mitzvah of tzedakah and benefit future students and families of Soille Hebrew Day School.
James and Carla Jacoby
When my ancestors arrived at Ellis Island from Russia and Romania, at the turn of the 20th Century, they brought with them more than a few tangible belongings, they brought their heritage from preceding generations to share with those in the generations to come. As a recipient of that rich heritage, I am grateful to have the opportunity to provide a legacy that would honor the memory of those that have preceded me in life. In addition to passing our faith, history and culture to our son, I now have the privilege of bestowing that gift to those that follow me in life. Through the United Jewish Federation (UJF), I am able to preserve the Jewish heritage and the faith in Judaism that has endured for centuries and will continue to thrive for generations to come.
Edward and Linda Janon
We have been fortunate enough to be able to share and continue our Jewish values with our community.
Jewish Family Service is our favorite agency because it makes such a difference in the lives of those "less fortunate," or in a real crisis.
We leave a legacy so that our community can continue caring for one another.
Chris and Emily Jennewein
Congregation Beth Israel has been such an important part of our family's lives that we are pleased to be able to make a lasting gift toward the synagogue's future. The ease and comfort that our children feel at Beth Israel – and the strength of their Jewish identities – are our greatest rewards as parents. We are honored to be able to help ensure the future of our synagogue so it will be able to play this critical role in the lives of other families.
Myron and Laura Jucha
L’Dor v Dor. From generation to generation. If we want to ensure that the San Diego Jewish community continues to grow and thrive, it is important that we take steps now to guarantee its future for our children and future generations. We hope that by being active members in our temple, we are setting a good example for our children to follow. We hope that by teaching our children about the importance of a Jewish education, tzedakah and tikkun olam, they will grow up and continue to hold these values close to their hearts. We are proud to leave a lasting legacy to our temple by our many volunteer hours, the donation of a new classroom as well as our endowment gift. These will all be a constant reminder to our children and grandchildren about how important Temple life is to us and how important it was for us to leave a lasting legacy at Temple Solel.
My endowment for the Jewish people reflects the joy and energy I find throughout our community. As the executive director of the Jewish Community Foundation for the past eight years, I feel blessed to have witnessed so many heart-filled conversations about giving back to the community. Meeting with people of all ages and backgrounds, I understand how the strength of our Jewish values compels us to the obligation of tzedakah and leaving the world a better place.
For my family, I am signing the Book of Life to honor my parents, Rita and Myron Joshel, who showed me through their actions what it means to be generous and active in a community.
For future generations, I want to help pass on the powerful values that this book represents.
May we all be blessed by the light and joy of our traditions.
Robert and Jodie Kaplan
When my husband Bob encouraged me to join him on the San Diego Community Mission to Israel in November of 1995, my life was changed forever. It was my first trip to Israel, and I realized on that trip why the work I was doing in the San Diego community was so important. While in Israel, we also understood that it is equally important to support our "family" there as well.
By leaving this legacy, Bob and I have inspired our children to follow in our footsteps of tikkun olam. Our son, Lawrence, participated in the second year of the Community Youth Foundation, and our daughter, Leora consistently looks for opportunities to help people. We hope that our children will pass on to their children the love, commitment and passion for giving that we have inspired in them, dor l’dor.
Growing up as a child in the vibrant Jewish community of New York City, with the loving, strong faith-based, positive influence of a Jewish family, culture, philosophy, traditions and beliefs, was one of the most critical influences in my life. I cannot think of any part of my life that has not been touched or influenced by the wonderful “neshomah.”
I am so grateful that my grandparents, parents and entire extended family worked tirelessly to see that my sister and I were exposed to all the joyous and fulfilling experiences that a Jewish home and synagogue community can provide. Those warm memories remain with me today.
Moving to San Diego in the 1970s was a bit of culture shock to my family. The Jewish community was so much smaller than we were used to. By joining Tifereth Israel Synagogue, though, we were able to replicate some of that great feeling of Jewish continuity and belonging.
To quote Pirkei Avot, Chapter 6, Number 9, “I would not live anywhere, except where there is Torah.” Leaving a legacy to Tifereth Israel Synagogue and the Jewish community of San Diego allows me to play a part in seeing that the blessings I have received will be able to be passed on to the generations to come. Compared to what my family and I have received, this small measure is something I can do to say “Todah Rabah.”
Barry and Avra Kassar
We leave a bequest to the Agency for Jewish Education because of a sincere belief that Jewish education is critical to the future of San Diego’s Jewish community.
Following the example and values of our beloved parents and grandparents, of blessed memory, we have devoted much of our energy to our Jewish community wherever we have lived. Being involved has given us a true sense of fulfillment, and we have by example also instilled in our children the importance of Tzedakah that we are confident they will pass on to the next generation.
We are leaving a legacy to the Agency for Jewish Education in the hope that it will enrich and strengthen this community’s commitment to Jewish education for years to come.
Theresa Dupuis and Gary Kornfeld
We feel so fortunate to be a part of San Diego's Jewish family. We are grateful for the foresight and generosity of those who have gone before us, and whose efforts have sustained our community. By leaving a legacy gift, it is our hope that, in some small way, we will be providing the same for those that follow us.
The tradition of Tikkun Olam, the repair of the world, is among Judaism’s greatest gifts to humanity. My life has been shaped by a culture dedicated to healing the sick, protecting the weak, and providing for the needy. But our tradition teaches us that the work of Tikkun Olam may never be finished. Certainly one life span, however long, is in the end not a very long time. We can hope, however, to leave the world a little bit better than we found it.
My work as a trauma surgeon has taught me that one is never too young to have a will. As I prepared mine, I thought carefully about providing for those I love. I also thought carefully about providing for the world they would inherit. Would that world provide the same resources and opportunities that I enjoyed? The institutions that had made my life more meaningful – the schools, synagogues, and charities – would they be there for my loved ones and for future generations? Would there even be future generations of Jews in a hundred, or five hundred, or a thousand years without secure Jewish institutions tomorrow, and the next day, and the day after that?
I will not be there to ensure the strength of the synagogues, community centers, and agencies that will serve the Jewish world in five hundred years. What I can do, and will do through my planned gifts, is help to make sure that the Jews of the next generation will have the tools to create a vibrant Jewish life for their great-grandchildren, who will in turn become the great-grandchildren of that distant generation. We live as Jews today because our ancestors taught their children to see into the future and care about the world their great-grandchildren’s great-grandchildren would inherit. Since I have no children of my own, I see the gifts I have arranged in my will as my stake in our shared future. They will be my next generation.
Murray and Flora Kuritsky
Both of us were raised in predominately Jewish neighborhoods of meager financial means in the City of New York. With little more that was necessary to sustain their families, our parents considered charity as a necessary requirement of their lives. We can remember our parents wrapping two pennies in paper to give to a poor individual.
Our families came from committed Jewish ancestors of Eastern Europe, where the "shtetles" of the countryside provided a somewhat safe haven for the practice of their Jewish customs and beliefs. In the relative affluence of our lives in Southern California we tend to live more as individuals, tending to lose the integration that was previously provided by the shtetle. Whereas our new way of life provides a host of benefits, a more integrated Jewish community offers greater strategic and political strength. It is in this way that we see the value of the Jewish Community Organizations; providing the multiplying advantage of the individual Jew.
Fortunately, our great country has been very good to us, and we consider it incumbent on us to give back to the Community to help those less fortunate, and to smooth the way for those coming after us.
Fanny Krasner Lebovits
Since I was very young, I learned the meaning of the word tzedakah. I continued with it through my entire life.
In my profession as a nurse, I have been dedicated to treat the sick, weak and provide for the needy. After surviving World War II, I continued to embrace the Jewish people and help ease their absorption into normal life.
I have found that, of all the world’s people, Jews are the most experienced with challenges, from their time of Moses until today. Judaism has always been a difficult faith, but those who kept the faith have learned that the faith keeps them. Despite the personal turbulence we encounter, if we have faith and tradition, we will be safe.
Before I arrived in the USA 31 years ago, I lived in several countries. Whether located in Stockholm, Johannesburg or San Diego, the heart of the Jews beats as one. The rest of the world identifies us as one people, and indeed we are. In good times and in bad times, we are one. Throughout our entire lives, Judaism nurtures us, sustains us, and defines us.
I have been blessed with a beautiful family of three children, a stepson, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I am proud to see that my children have continued in their parents’ path and are involved in the Jewish community. They know that Jews thrive and flourish when they have a sense of belonging.
L’dor v’dor My heritage, the safety of the state of Israel and the survival of my people are of prime importance to me. My legacy is to help further all of the above.
Generations before us have passed on our Jewish heritage and teachings and we are expected to continue this sacred and meaningful legacy for our children and all of humanity. It is my deep appreciation for being a Jew that has prompted me to support our heritage.
Jerome and Leona Levy
Throughout its long and distinguished history, our synagogue has served as a gathering place, a place to worship, to be inspired, to seek answers through study and to commit to a just and better world. We have inherited the spiritual and social foundations created by preceding generations. Our legacy, indeed our responsibility, is to take what we know and pass it on to our children and grandchildren. Our philanthropy will serve as an enduring fount to support these endeavors.
Nathan and Celia Levy
Prior to immigrating from South Africa in 1981, we were very involved in Jewish Communal Affairs and have continued to do so since our arrival in San Diego.
The Shul and Schools have always been very close to our hearts as we feel, deeply, that this involvement not only provides a platform and a principle for our family, but also may assist those less fortunate than ourselves.
It sets a pattern and an example for life which we hope will be able to be replicated by our children, grandchildren and future generations, ensuring the survival of our Jewish Culture.
The Jewish Community Foundation is an inspiring vehicle with which to further these ideals of Tzedakah, Gimelut Chasadim, and Service to Others.
Morris and Zita Liebermensch
On behalf of our family, we are most grateful for the opportunity to perpetuate the Jewish tradition of “tzedakah” with our legacy gift.
We especially want to remember and honor all those who came before us; give love and support to all those in the here and now; and be ever mindful to secure a safe and caring future to all those who are to follow.
Marshall, Gail and Rebecca Littman
This beautiful Midrash story about the guarantors of Torah illustrates why we have committed to sign the Book of Life.
Moses told the Israelites that G-d wanted to give them the gift of Torah and then proceeded to ascend Mount Sinai to accept the offering. However, Moses returned from the mountain empty-handed, explaining to the Israelites that G-d wanted a guarantee that they wouldn't only accept the gift but would live consistently by its teachings. Moses made two more trips up the mountain, one with jewels and the other with valuable possessions, but G-d still wasn't pleased.
However after much spirited discussion, a mother cried out that our children, our most precious possessions, should be our guarantors. At that moment, G-d realized that the Israelites were truly worthy of receiving Torah. Moses happily returned carrying two large stone tablets that shone with the words of G-d. Since that time, the children of Israel have listened to the words of Torah and taught them to their sons and daughters, there by passing the light from one generation to another.
As in the Midrash story, to help assure that our children will continue in their role as guarantors of Torah, we commit to doing our part by supporting our Jewish community through the giving of tzedakah during our lifetime and after we are gone. We feel responsible to help preserve and secure our Jewish heritage, as well as to model this for our daughter, Rebecca. We are confident that she, in turn, will serve as a role model for her children in the years to come.
Just as the Israelites made the commitment to teach the words of the Torah to their precious children, by signing the Book of Life, we hope to do our part to assure the passing of Torah from one generation to another.
My mother, Jean Larisch Weingarten, immigrated to the United States from Brzesko, Poland with her family after a number of pogroms in her village. My father, William Weingarten, was born in Lemberg, Austria (Lwow, Poland) and escaped from Vienna in 1938 after Hitler’s arrival. My mother arrived in the United States in 1933 and my father in September 1939. My parents met in New York in 1941.
My father was forced to leave the University of Vienna medical school in 1938, when Hitler decreed that Jews could no longer attend. A year later, as a refugee with no prior knowledge of English, my father arrived in America and worked at menial jobs while learning English and studying to complete his medical training. Education was a top priority for him. Despite many hardships, my father earned his medical degree with a specialty in cardiology. As soon as he had passed his specialty Boards, he joined the United States Public Health Service, where he served as a medical officer from 1942 until opening his private practice in 1955.
This dedication to learning and determination to continue his education at all costs was my father’s legacy to me. Both of my parents had to flee persecution because they were Jews. This Jewish identity, along with the strong desire to preserve our culture and traditions, was another legacy.
L’dor v’dor, from generation to generation, it is vital that we transmit our traditional love of learning as well as our rich values and history to our children and to our children’s children. We must support our Jewish community in a tangible way. Through my legacy gifts to The Agency for Jewish Education and to Congregation Adat Yeshurun, I hope to play a small part in achieving that goal.
Hamilton and Estelle Loeb
We were raised in Illinois with Jewish values handed down to us by loving, caring parents and grandparents, and by their example of tzedakah. Supporting both the Jewish and general communities have been a part of our lives since early adulthood. Every day we feel blessed to live in America; giving is the rent we pay for that privilege.
Since we moved to San Diego twelve years ago we have become actively involved in Jewish Family Service. We have seen that agency quadruple in service to the community in that remarkably short time. We feel fortunate to live in a vibrant Jewish community where our values will be handed down to future generations through the strong institutions the community has built. We want to help ensure the future of those institutions through our modest endowment and legacies. We appreciate the work of the Jewish Community Foundation that will guarantee the future of the Jewish community in San Diego.
Following in the steps of my great-grandparents, grandparents, and parents, I have had the honor and privilege of working in many of our great Jewish institutions. Though each organization takes on the honorable task of fulfilling Tikun Olam and/or Derek Eretz in its own special way, there are two inescapable facts that have always been an issue for any organization I have been involved with — First, there is never enough money to accomplish all that needs to be done, and second, The Jewish Community Foundation has always been present and ready to help organizations accomplish more than they would have been able to do alone.
Out of respect to so many worthy Jewish organizations and cognizant of the efficiency and diligence of the JCF, it is my honor and privilege to join the Book of Life.
With love for our Tradition and respect for our community, I hope that one day all our worthy organizations will have the means to effectuate as much progress, assistance, programming and deliverables, in order to maximize their and our potential in repairing our world.
Norman and Sivia Mann
On behalf of the Norman E. Mann and Sivia Brenner Mann families we are motivated to contribute to the survival of Judaism. In our small way we trust that our bequest will provide a resource from which the interest will assist those agencies whose purpose it is to stimulate the spiritual aspects of Judaism and further the support of Israel so that it is "a light unto the nations" – not just a cliché, but a reality.
Howard and Lottie Marcus
Shortly after Hitler came to power.I left Germany, my home and my family in early 1933. I went to Italy, a country whose language I did not speak, without the comfort of family or friends, or the support of a community.
Six years later, in 1939, after Hitler sent his Gestapo to Italy, I was forced to leave again, to a country whose language I did not speak, whose customs I did not know and without the benefit of much community support.
Thus, I learned to appreciate the importance of Jewish community support, and ever since, I have given my time and as soon as I could afford – financial assistance to the "United Jewish Appeal" and many other philanthropic organizations.
From my own experience I learned what it means to be without family and friends and community support, when in need. Therefore, it gives me great satisfaction to realize that my charitable contributions may serve to make life a little easier and a little better for someone, in need, somewhere.
Jonathan and Ellen Marks
I grew up belonging to one of the pioneering Jewish families in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a small child, there was no synagogue so the community built one. My father built the synagogue and served as one of its first presidents. There was no Jewish education. A Jewish preschool was started. My mother and other committed women and men worked hard to start the preschool.
A small and tireless group of committed Jews started the Jewish Community Center of Southern Nevada. Both my parents and grandparents gave generously.
As a small child, there was much discussion about the formation of the State of Israel. My father and other community leaders worked hard to sell bonds and support the fledgling State. When my father showed me a commemorative gold coin he was given, I learned what a menorah was. I imagined that if I held the coin very tight, I might be able to go to Israel someday.
As I grew older, the values of giving and more importantly the happiness of giving a philanthropic gift were instilled in me. I dedicate my involvement with the Jewish Community Foundation to my Grandparents, Murray and Aggie Wollman, Sydney and Lena Moss and to my beloved parents Melvin and Corinne Moss who always led the way in trying to teach that to help one another in the Jewish Community is to help all Jews to survive, be strong and go forward.
I am grateful that my son Jonathan will be a part of the Marks Family endowment. I know he will continue a legacy of giving. He understands the responsibility well. A Jewish Day School education helped make him into a kind and caring man committed to Judaism and Israel. May many Jewish lives be touched by the Marks Family endowment.
When I first began working at a Jewish social service agency in 1987, I did not know how profoundly my life would be impacted. I was immediately embraced by the community and the values of respect, tzedakah, service and caring became cornerstone to my life, making my work more meaningful. Now, at Beth Israel, I once again have the privilege to work with the Jewish community. I have chosen to support Congregation Beth Israel with my own legacy gift because I want to see the continuation of what has been so richly given to me.
Charles and Ilene Mittman
It is an honor for us to be able to contribute to Jewish charitable institutions. Our parents were immigrants from Eastern Europe who lived long enough to see the next generation fulfill the American dream. They felt that Jewish institutions played a role in that success and giving back to help others was an important family obligation.
We have been fortunate to work in health, education and cultural institutions. We feel privileged to be able to continue our family’s traditions of community support and know that our four sons and their families will continue to do the same. Community support of Jewish institutions will become increasingly important as our society seems to be forgetting the concepts of Tikkun Olam, perfecting the world through good deeds, social action and the pursuit of justice. We hope we play a small part in maintaining the kind of nurturing environment which was so important to our development.
As a secular Jew, I do not have a strong connection to my religious heritage. However, I am convinced that it is tremendously important that the Jewish people continue and flourish as a unique people, because of all we have contributed and will in the future contribute to world civilization.
Clive and Tammy Moch
Out of love for our children Saul, Jed and Jena and in honor of our parents we leave this legacy to our Jewish community in San Diego. Our blessings are numerous and we feel fortunate to be able to endow our gift ensuring a continued vibrant Jewish world with appreciation and gratitude.
The Jewish tradition of tikkun olam has been a driving force in my life, and I want it to be a tradition forever. Congregation Beth Israel, my synagogue, and agencies like Jewish Family Service, which I consider to be the best of its kind in this entire area, need our ongoing commitment to guarantee that we, the Jewish community, can reach out to try to heal the world forever; and every penny counts toward that goal.
Mark and Ellen Moss
We are honored to fulfill our obligation to support the Jewish community through the Mitzvah of tzedakah.
Generations before us have passed on this tradition to us, and we hope to pass on the same legacy to our children. We are committed to ensuring the survival and growth of the Jewish community of San Diego, and through the giving of charity, we can make a difference in achieving this goal. We hope our gift will make life a little easier and a little better for someone in need.
Naomi and Mose Levenstein, my parents, would be proud and happy to know that I was able to make this commitment to the future stability of the Jewish community via Congregation Beth Israel. I myself am proud and happy.
Having grown up in Greensburg, Indiana, part of the only Jewish family in town, our Judaism was not hidden; but it was careful. Our last name was Jewish, we didn't have a Xmas tree, we ate chopped liver; but we didn't flaunt it.
Since those years, it has become more important to me to stand up and be counted as a Jew – for myself and for my children Andy, Molly, Steven and Sam. The Dor l'dor Society at Congregation Beth Israel provides this opportunity; and the Book of Life adds a special way of sharing my personal pleasure with the entire Jewish Community.
On my 9th birthday, I came home from school and announced to my non-Jewish family, “I’m Jewish!” My mother, curious about this news, asked me what I learned in school that day. I told her we sang Christmas songs, and the class sang Happy Birthday to me after we learned The Hanukkah Song—I burst into it: “Hanukkah, oh Hanukkah, come light the menorah….” In my nine year-old, ego-centric, birthday-minded excitement, I understood the Hanukkah Song to be about my birthday. A party with nine candles, getting a treat, games, food, and candles burning low while remembering the day I was born. Oy!
As an adult, I became a Melton student, missing only one class of the two year course, due to surgery. I continue to enjoy Jewish culture and events, especially the Adult Education Lecture Series. I embrace the idea that has been given to me by a Jewish friend—That I am a Cultural Jew.
I am blessed to have known how to budget money, and to have had the discipline to live within my means. My ability to contribute comes from my desire to give, and my decision to support the Jewish culture and teachings that have a special place in my heart. I hope others benefit, and carry the Jewish culture forward.
With gratitude and joy,
Tzedakah is away of life in my family. Generations of my relatives have been presidents of shuls, Jewish foundations, local chapters of Untied Jewish Appeal, Israeli Bonds and many more organizations that are an integral part of the Jewish community. I started my Jewish community career as an AZA President in Washington, D.C. and later served as President of Argo Lodge B’nai B’rith. It’s something you don’t think about. You just do. Like eating or sleeping. Like my mother always devoted time to Hadassah, her shul and the Hebrew Home.
It is also notable that even though we live in a community that is 97% non-Jewish, virtually all of my friends and business acquaintances are Jewish. Many, maybe most, of those friends I know as a result of my activities in the Jewish community service organizations. Further, most of my financial success results from my relationship within the Jewish community. Therefore, contributing to and endowing the Jewish community is but one way to thank you for numerous wonderful friendships.
In the original edition of Nancy and my will and trust in 1977, I included B’nai B’rith. Each time we do an update, we update the charitable list. This time we will include the Jewish Community Foundation and UJF. That way our gifts can be of assistance to the Jewish community long after we’re gone. And, of course, we try to be generous donors while we’re here. As an estate planner recently told me: shrouds have no pockets.
Ronald J. Newell
I have chosen to leave a legacy to Congregation Beth Israel for many reasons. The most simplistic have to do with long term membership and the observance of the full gamut of life cycle events with its members. Availability of the Saturday morning lay-led Minyan service for spiritual rejuvenation was another impetus to my action.
However, the most outstanding Congregational attribute is its approach to Tikkun Olam, or repairing the world. We do not segregate our caring for others to only those who subscribe to our faith. The Congregation pays for the food and organizes the volunteers who serve it every Sunday at St. Vincent de Paul. It has done so for over 22 years.
I feel that is truly walking the walk of the Torah’s teaching and, therefore, worthy of my support.
Larry and Rebecca Newman
We were fortunate to come from families with a strong sense of Jewish values, traditions and communal history. Arriving in San Diego in 1974 with our two young daughters, Karin and Dana, we knew that it was time for us to establish our own Jewish connection. We found a community that was welcoming and encouraging with leadership, institutions and organizations in place that enabled our family to enjoy the richest of Jewish lives. We joined Congregation Beth Israel and educated our children in its religious school. We participated in the programs of the United Jewish Federation and it became our window to the Jewish world beyond San Diego and the avenue to our ongoing love affair with the State of Israel.
Over the years we were mentored by wonderful leadership who enabled us to serve the organizations we loved: the Federation, Congregation Beth Israel, Seacrest Village, the United Jewish Appeal and the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. When it was time to think about the legacy we wanted to leave our children it was important to us that through our endowments they would appreciate how greatly our involvement with our community had added richness and texture to our lives. We also wanted to ensure that succeeding generations of young Jewish families would find a strong and vibrant community awaiting their participation – a community dedicated to the dignity and quality of Jewish life, sustained by Torah, Chesed and the free and democratic State of Israel. It is with joy and great hope for the future that we sign our San Diego Jewish community’s Book of Life.
I was fortunate to have a wise father who brought my mother and me out of Nazi Germany to the U.S. in 1935. Hitler had already imposed regulations that doomed my father’s business, but we were healthy and alive, while some relatives were not as lucky.
In our early years in this country, I received "scholarships" and "special consideration" for summer camp. Later as my career prompted several moves to cities where I knew no one, my adjustment was greatly eased by my ability to and desire to affiliate with and participate in Jewish life.
I was able to contribute by serving on both synagogue and Jewish social welfare Boards in New York City and San Diego, and personally observe the vital role Jewish communal organizations play in maintaining and continuing Jewish existence.
Consequently, I feel it is not only an obligation but a privilege to be able to help others in the future.
The ability to help others is one of life’s greatest joys and privileges. From assisting those in crisis, guiding someone to become independent or providing long-term sustenance, having a positive impact on someone is blessed.
Whether the Federation, a Jewish Agency, Synagogue or the general community, the opportunities are almost infinite and all are deserving of our time, attention and financial support.
I had the double blessing of growing up immersed in a strong Jewish environment in Cleveland with parents who taught me the values of tzedakah and commitment to Jewish community. Replicating this for my daughters has and continues to be a core principle.
By endowing my gift to our Federation, I am a role model for my daughters and help ensure a strong Jewish community for future generations in San Diego, Israel and around the world.
Teddie Lewis Pincus
My family has been involved in philanthropy since we arrived in San Diego in 1944. My mother was one of those responsible for founding the Hebrew Home.
My former husband was one of those who set up the original Community Foundation of UJF. And Sivia Mann and I helped to get the San Diego Community Foundation started.
I also chaired a group under the auspices of the Foundation called "Women and Money," which taught women how to handle financial matters. It was most successful.
We are delighted with how far we have come and hope our children and the entire Jewish community will continue the good work, both for the Jewish community and the San Diego community at large.
Irving and Anne Pinkel
As a child, I remember each year before Rosh Hashanah my father would sit at his desk and send contributions to his favorite charities. The first check always went to HIAS, the agency that helped him get settled when he arrived in Pittsburgh from Russia in l909. He knew no one in that city.
Jewish agencies, religious schools and synagogues have shaped our lives. We feel it is imperative that these institutions live on to nurture future generations.
Shearn and Linda Platt
L’Chaim - To Life
Life is a beautiful gift. It is important for one to appreciate it and not take it for granted. For us as Jewish people, we know the meaning and worth of the ways of our ancestors. We want to ensure that others share these values and traditions and have the opportunity to experience all that our rich heritage has given to us.
By practicing tzedakah we are able to perpetuate all that we deem to be so vital and essential to life – L’Chaim.
Kenneth and Lori Polin
We believe the Jewish tradition of giving is one of the greatest attributes of our faith. To endow it in perpetuity through legacy gifts fulfills the commandment of Dor L’ Dor. More importantly, in our family, it demonstrates to our four children the importance of giving back to the community. It also helps to shape their connection to philanthropic and social opportunities.
As active participants in the community, we have learned the important role that the United Jewish Federation and the Jewish Community Center perform for the local community, as well as Israel and Jews throughout the world.
During our adult lifetime in San Diego we have seen the Jewish community prosper and grow.
Our leadership roles have given us a front row seat to observe and construct the seeds of change. As a Lion of Judah, Lori sets an example for our two daughters regarding the meaning of Tzedakah and leadership.
Our legacy gifts to UJF and the JCC will do our small part to ensure that these organizations that serve the community will continue to do so for future generations to come.
Janet and Larry Pollack
We both had good examples from multiple generations of family supporting the synagogue. Janet’s paternal great-great-grandfather was a founding member and former President of Temple Emanuel in Denver, which coincidentally, two generations later, was the same Temple where her mother’s family belonged and where her mother was confirmed, followed in the next generation by her own Confirmation and subsequent wedding. Larry’s parents have been members of Temple Adat Shalom since early in its existence and have always shown support both in deed and substance.
We feel that if our ancestors had the foresight to build and maintain Temples for us to use, it is our obligation to leave that same legacy for future generations.
Cheryl Rattner Price
We are very blessed to have been able to send our kids to San Diego Jewish Academy. In 2002, I donated my ceramics studio and tile inventory to SDJA and was given the honorary position as Artist in Residence. My life took a direction which allowed for my deepest loves, that of art and Jewish learning, to be seamlessly combined. Together with 200 families we created a 10 foot free-standing mosaic menorah. Next came Zikaron V’Tikvah, The Butterfly Project, an artistic memorial now in multiple locations using the symbol of a ceramic butterfly to memorialize the 1.5 million children who perished in the Holocaust and honor the survivors.
I am motivated deeply by memories of my grandparents and parents who were proud to be Jewish but struggled to define why Judaism mattered.
I came to realize that Jewish identity and survival are very central themes in my life. The quality of Jewish education available today really inspires me and I know only some of us take a drink; and I hope to spread that spark somehow, because if it could happen to me it could happen to anyone.
I am grateful for the Agency for Jewish Education programs, and my role as a Board Member, involved with others creating Jewish-based learning.
Also, it is so important and urgent to be able to stand tall with dignity as a Jew and I am excited to be involved with the ADL Anti-Defamation League.
I realized the time is now to give back to the community that has so supported us. I am grateful to be able to step out and show the power of Tzedakah to my daughters, Emily and Julia. L’Dor v’Dor… we do make a difference when we work together to build a strong community.
Through the years, I had many conversations with my father-in-law, Isaac Ratner. He told me when people walked up to our factory and asked for help, he never turned anyone down. He was afraid that the one person he might refuse would be the one who was in the most dire straits and needed his help the most.
I always believed that this was a beautiful way of expressing a philosophy of giving. Since then, my family has been inspired to follow this advice.
Each generation builds upon the other, trusting that our heirs will continue these traditions of giving and that our children and grandchildren will carry on.
We are very thankful to the good Lord who has blessed us and enabled us to help those in need.
Emanuel and Shirley Ravet
How do we feel about our commitment and why are we doing this? There is so much in our history that has caused grief and pain along with tears. We think about being Jewish and smile because we are proud. Proud to be a Jew and proud of our heritage, our compassion, charity, devotion to all causes and love of humanity, especially our own people. We have a worldwide family and there is a country where we are always welcome, Israel. To all of this we make our commitment.
Henry and Barbara Reed
We have always been involved with Jewish charities. We have found that UJF is the ideal repository inasmuch as it distributes its collections to myriad charities. So when we established our charitable remainder fund we decided that the lion’s share should go to UJF.
Nina Madden Sabban
My sister Vicki and I grew up in a Canadian community with about 300 Jewish families. We were often the only Jewish students in our class. But we were taught by our parents to be proud of being Jewish and to give to those less fortunate. My late husband Joe grew up in Tunisia and his family was forced to leave their homeland of many generations because they were Jewish. But they continued to be proud Jews.
Our mother was widowed at a young age, but practiced Tzedakah for her entire life. We learned from her. When she could no longer care for her own financial affairs, and asked us for help with her checkbook, we found in that year she had written 90+ checks of $5 or $10 each to Jewish charities. When we told her that we wanted her to use the money for herself, she said, “Didn’t I teach you girls anything? I am using the money for myself”.
I have been blessed to be able to give back to the Jewish community. I have recently been warmly welcomed to the San Diego Jewish community and hope that the gifts made now and after my death will continue to demonstrate my family’s caring about others.
Isaac Bashevis Singer wrote: The good life is not passive existence Where you live and let live It is one of involvement Where you live and help live. I am proud to sign San Diego’s Jewish Community Book of Life in honor of my parents and my late husband. I know that the Madden and Sabban families’ tradition of giving back to the community will continue through our future generations.
Bruce and Sheri Sachs
We have been members of Temple Solel for the past 18 years. Our entire life revolves around friends, events, and gatherings that encompass this Jewish community. Our legacy commitment comes directly from our passion to continue this "spark of life" for future generations.
I was surprised and delighted when my husband elected to honor me with an endowment that allows my annual gift to Federation to continue into perpetuity. Now I know that from my grandparents, to my parents, to my husband and me, and hopefully to our children, this tradition of tzedakah will continue. I hope the links of this chain will continue forever and that the benefits of my gift will help to reinforce the continuity of our traditions and strengthen our marvelous San Diego Jewish community.
Ed and I benefit everyday from our close associations in the Jewish world of San Diego. May it continue to grow, prosper and provide its wide array of services to the community.
Sanford and Marjorie Schane
We would like to carry on the Jewish tradition by honoring and fulfilling our obligation to support the Jewish community through the mitzvah of tzedkah.
By providing a legacy to Congregation Beth Israel we can serve others in the Jewish community during times of crisis, assist families unable to afford synagogue membership, or help to educate our children in the Jewish faith.
Dor l’dor, from generation to generation, may our contribution benefit future children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Sheldon and Lillian Scharlin
In thinking what we would like to express in our Book of Life, we thought of all the lofty reasons that have been given and undoubtedly will be given over the years for what we do and why.
They could be life's experiences of having been forced out of your birth country as a result of the Hitler era. They could be our undying love for our Israel, and on and on.
But the truth is, we have always had, do now, and will always have a love affair with our people wherever they may be. We hope our contribution together with so many others will fulfill the Jewish dream.
Steve and Linda Schechner
Having been brought up in Conservative Jewish homes in Philadelphia, Linda and I feel very strongly about the value of Judaism, synagogue and community. We especially believe in the ethics and moral codes as taught in the Torah. We believe that it is our responsibility to see to it that Jewish institutions continue to exist to teach Jewish values to future generations.
George and Mary Ann Scher
There are events in one’s life that make you sit back and take an accounting of your own life. My sister passed away suddenly at a young age. Her will was very general and did not reflect her life or her philanthropy. George and I wanted to be sure that this didn’t happen to us and that our will was a living document of who we are and what we stand for.
My Lion of Judah Endowment to United Jewish Federation is a result of that experience. I wanted to leave a permanent gift in San Diego for an organization I care deeply about and believe in wholeheartedly; and I want my action to serve as a role model for my children.
I was privileged to grow up in the thriving Jewish community of South Africa, where I was always aware of the extreme generosity of my grandparents and parents to many causes.
Their ongoing commitment and sense of responsibility has had a lasting impact on me. I believe that our children will ultimately be influenced by what we do. The wellbeing of the local and worldwide Jewish community and Israel is central to me and my family. It is our hope that this endowment will help to secure a strong Jewish future and express our commitment and love to the Jewish people.
Irving and Gloria Schiffman
As the sole member of my family, who fortuitously left Poland one year before the outbreak of World War II, thus personally escaping the ravages of the Shoah (to which my entire nuclear and extended family fell victim), I am eternally grateful to this country, which for me became literally the goldene medine.
After my US Army service during World War II, I seized the opportunity, under the education provision of the GI Bill of Rights, and completed a course of study which enabled me to pursue a career path in the United States Foreign Service, culminating upon retirement, in the position of U.S. Consul General.
I was further most fortunate in finding a life’s mate, who has truly been the fountainhead of our loving family of three children, three grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. We both come from traditional Jewish families, deeply imbued with the ethical values of our ancient people. As a child, I often heard my father propound Rabbi Hillel’s precept on the essence of Judaism: "V’eahafta l’reacha kamocha" (love thy neighbor as thyself). This dictum resonated with me throughout my life, and has become for both of us the hallmark of the Jewish ethos. Tzedakah toward those in need is its ultimate expression, and we have made a commitment, within our limited means, to this quintessential Jewish value.
Also, we regard community service as important. My wife, Gloria, has set an example for our children through her commitment to Jewish causes by her active service in various Jewish organizations in San Diego.
Hatikvah (hope) and Tzedakah are a winning combination, and we hope that our modest acts of tzekakah, through the San Diego Jewish Community Foundation, will honor the memory of our parents, and set an example for our children and grandchildren to emulate.
Jack and Sherron Schuster
We are pleased to be signators of The Book of Life and by such reaffirming our strong belief in Judaism and its inherent values. For us that translates into a continuous responsibility to build and enhance our communities, both Jewish and secular. By so doing we also hope to set an example for our progeny and others with whom we come into contact.
Bob and Judi Schwartz
Congregation Beth Israel is a warm and welcoming community to all. It has been our congregational home for almost thirty years.
By including CBI in our estate plan, it is our hope that financial considerations will not be a barrier to families in their decision to join Congregation Beth Israel. We also want to show that all families can step forward, at their own personal level, to leave a legacy of hope and help to the future Jewish community. Leaving a legacy to CBI is not just the responsibility of those with greater financial wealth, but the responsibility of all Jews who want to take a part in continued Jewish community life.
L’dor V’dor To me, these words are worthy of constant focus for all Jews in today’s world. The generations that came before us deserve reverence for both what they endured and for what they accomplished for us. By supporting our Jewish institutions today we will ensure a bright and lasting future for generations to come.
By remembering Congregation Beth Israel in my will I honor the many years I was privileged to serve the Temple. Although I am no longer a resident of San Diego, I will gratefully remember the religious home Beth Israel provided me for 16 years, and the wonderful clergy and congregants with whom I worshipped and worked. My gift to the congregation is intended to provide for the continued beautification of the sacred space so that it will always be a special destination for worship, education and community-building.
I have been blessed with caring parents, Stanley and Debby Seidle, who realized the value of a Jewish education. My earliest memories are of walks to shul with my sister Rachel filled with an excitement and enthusiasm that I now strive to achieve again. My Jewish schooling and the traditions I learned at home provided me with a strong foundation that enable me now to make educated choices about how I practice Judaism.
I’ll never forget a principle passed on by grandfather to my father. He said "It can take years to build a good name, and just moments to destroy it." This made a significant impression on me, and I have tried to live my life on this basis. Working for the Jewish community allows me to put into action the values that I was taught.
I hope to one day have children of my own as well as nieces and nephews. This legacy is part of my attempt to be an example for them, as others have been role models for me. It gives me great joy to think that, through my legacy, future generations of Jewish leaders will be created.
My name is Fran Katz-Sekela and I was born and raised in Newark, NJ -- an American Jewish shtetl. That Jewish Paradise came to its end in the late 60s; however, the place received a new immortal life in the Philip Roth novels. Philip and I attended Weequahic High School where 90 percent of our classmates were Jewish kids leading a traditional Jewish life, which always included sharing with the less fortunate. Our family wasn't poor, but we definitely weren't rich. I vividly remember that each major Jewish holiday when my beloved, av shalom, mother Dora set up the table there were always at least two extra plates. I was only five and so excited that I learned how to count using my fingers, that I couldn't stop myself from counting everything. When I saw the extra plates for the first time, I suspected that my mother made a mistake. "Look, there is my twin sister Jo, my little brother Jerry, you Momma, Daddy and me. It makes five, but you set seven plates down on the table," I tried to correct my mother when she told me, "It doesn't matter how poor you are, there is always someone who has much less than you have. Please remember that being Jewish means to know how to share your good fortune and luck with the people who have less. That is the reason why I put additional plates and invited two of your father's employees to share our holiday meal."
My parents started to teach us about charity at a very young age. In the old Austrian cupboard that used to belong to my paternal grandparents, next to our best china had been sitting a huge cookie jar where my mother put her change after doing her grocery shopping and where my sister, brother and I were told to put loose change and some portion of our weekly allowances. At the end of the year, on Rosh Hashanah, my parents helped us to take down the heavy (pishka) jar to our local synagogue and donate that mountain of coins and paper money to charity. Of course, my father Sol never forgot to write a generous check to go along with his children's collection. My father, Sol Katz, firmly believed that it feels far better to give than to receive. He was such a giving person, but frankly speaking I don't remember him receiving from anyone up and until his dying day. I know for a fact that when my father got an incurable cancer and was admitted to the hospital, he begged the local rabbi to visit him and collect his tzedakah.
Down the road I made my daughter Cheryl and son Seth aware of my parents’ beliefs about charity and its significance. My granddaughter Danielle, the oldest grandchild, is the offspring of a wealthy family from Persia; however, she didn't think twice before spending her summer break in Israel helping Moroccan-Jewish refugees to improve their Hebrew and English. She wasn't paid, and upon leaving Israel she unloaded her backpack and divided her trendy stuff among her students. I realize that even a small contribution will help strengthen my congregation and community and give someone a second chance in life.
I'm grateful to be able to contribute to the Jewish community and to sign the Book of Life.
Lawrence and Barbara Sherman
We grew up in New York City, where Jewish was so pervasive that you never talked about it. It was in the air, the food, the water, the culture. In 1976 we moved to San Diego. For the first time in our lives we had to find Jewish. Needless to say, it was not easily found and we felt disconnected and different for the first time in our lives. Thank goodness we did finally connect with the Jewish community. It has been the focus of our lives for the last 20 years. It is where we feel we have really made a difference in so many ways. We feel blessed to have had the opportunities we have had, locally and overseas. We discovered the meaning and importance of Community.
We are sad that our children will probably not return to San Diego to participate in this wonderful community that we feel that we have played a significant role in building. Fortunately, others will have the opportunity. We wish to leave a legacy so that they will be aware of how important community building is. We also want them to know that tzedakah was an important part of our lives. It is only through the continuity of the generations and the building of community that we will survive.
Like Reconstruction Jews, I don’t believe we are the "chosen" people, but we are very special people. I’m proud of our history, and our culture. Our tenacity and fortitude have kept us around when so many ethnic groups have died out. Our emphasis on education and civic duties runs deep. Not bad for a small group of "nomads" who kept getting "kicked out."
T’kun Olam - to help the less fortunate is noble and blessed.
Leaving a legacy is my way of expressing my gratitude to all those in my community who have given so much to me. It’s an opportunity to give back. In raising my two disabled children and my third child adopted through Chicago’s Jewish Children’s Bureau, I received so much help and support from so many people. I get a sense of accomplishment from serving in my community and am grateful I am able to do so. I hope not only to leave this financial legacy for future generations but to have left a legacy of accomplishments which will make a difference in the lives of others.
My parents were loving and caring. They taught me by example. They were proud of their children and in turn I was proud to be known as their daughter. They both contributed to their community in Toledo, Ohio. My Mother was known for the many piano recitals she performed for Temple Sisterhood and Hadassah. She was recognized for her work for the boys in the service by sewing quilts for the USO. My Dad was recognized for his leadership in successfully driving campaigns to build a new Jewish Community Center and a new wing on the Jewish Home for the Aged. He served as President for the JCC, Vice President of the National Jewish Welfare Board, and Secretary of his Temple. So tradition has taught me to follow in their footsteps.
Ronald and Anne Simon
Our family has been a member of Congregation Beth Israel since 1971, and the synagogue has had an important role in our lives. It has been the place where we could come and join other Jews to observe our religion, teach our children about Judaism, and participate in Jewish activities. It has also given us the opportunity to contribute time and effort as a board member and officer.
By making this gift, we are doing a little to help perpetuate the activities of our synagogue so that families who join it in the future will have a wonderful place to pray, learn, celebrate, and express themselves as Jews.
Arnie and Lucille Sirk
For many years we have been blessed with a good life. Thus, we have felt that we should share our blessings with those who are not so fortunate. We have tried to live lives that have made a difference. We hope that we have been role models for our children and grandchildren and that philanthropy and a concern for others will always be one of their priorities.
Phil and Ruth Slonim
We are very grateful to be able to contribute to the San Diego Jewish community and to sign the Book of Life.
We know that our contribution will help strengthen, in it’s own small way the Jewish life of San Diego.
Herbert and Elene Solomon
With gratitude we believe in sharing our blessings by contributing annually a significant share of our income and by leaving legacies: to benefit the less fortunate who are in need, to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people in San Diego and elsewhere, and to repair and improve the world in which we live.
Steven and Esther Solomon
It is an honor and a blessing for both of us to have the opportunity to continue our people’s tradition of giving. It is humbling to be a small link in the chain of Jews working for Tikkun Olam, from generation to generation. We are so very fortunate. We have been given so very much.
We have been given so much by the San Diego Jewish community, gifts like caring, learning and belonging. And we have been given so much by parents who showed us how to be Jews. Parents who led lives of giving, lives of standing for our people. We fervently hope we can give this precious gift to our beloved son, Lewis, who gives us so much love and joy every day. We have been given so much by our beloved homeland, Eretz Israel, and we have been given so much by our great United States of America.
We are proud to be Jews, proud to be members of our San Diego Jewish community, proud to be members of Clal Israel. Part of that pride is from knowing that we have strengthened our community that we have given back to our Jewish brothers and sisters.
We had the privilege to hear Rabbi Yitz Greenberg speak about living Jewishly meaning that we must "choose life" in how we choose to live. We see signing the Book of Life of our San Diego Jewish community as choosing life in death.
We feel honored to do so.
Mark, Jill and Rebecca Spitzer
We’re happy to help Jewish Family Service by way of a bequest. I have had the privilege of serving as the agency’s executive director for over 17 years and know how important legacy gifts are. JFS has strived to maintain a rich network of programs and services that are continually changing in response to community and family needs. But one aspect of our work remains unchanged: the challenge to raise the funds necessary to serve as many people as possible. That is why bequests are essential.
As a family, we believe in the mission of JFS and hope that others will join us in supporting their favorite charity. To the extent that we can rely on each other for support and engage in activities of common concern is the extent to which we will continue to have a vibrant, humane and loving community.
Rodney and Gloria Stone
Our endowment is an expression of our hope for and faith in the continuity of the Jewish people. It affirms our belief in the importance of Jewish community and the centrality of Jewish values in our lives. It gives us the opportunity to make tangible these values to our children and grandchildren.
I learned firsthand about the generosity of the Jewish community when my home was destroyed in the 1991 Oakland Hills Fire, and I received a grant from the local Federation to get me back on my feet. Over the next 20 years, I became deeply involved with the UJF and JCF and learned much more about the tremendous support these organizations provide to Jews locally and around the world. I witnessed the positive impact Jewish organizations have on people’s lives and the sense of community and Jewish identity they helped foster. I also saw the enormity of need that exists. For these reasons, I have decided to make support for Jewish philanthropic organizations a key component of my legacy.
Michael and Deena Swidler
Our Jewish community depends on tzedakah to thrive. We are leaving this legacy because we want to convey the importance of being Jewish to our children and teach them about helping the community. We hope they will continue our families’ Jewish traditions.
Robert and Mary Stuart Taylor
We have established a Charitable Remainder Trust and named Temple Adat Shalom as the beneficiary. The synagogue is an important place to the two of us, where we share the same values as others. By establishing a CRT and making the Temple the beneficiary, we are helping to secure Temple Adat Shalom’s future.
There is very little, if anything, that lasts forever, but an endowment continues in perpetuity, year in and year out, and assures to future generations—l’dor v’dor—the legacy of a strong and vibrant synagogue in North County Inland.
Martin and Angelica Teal
We and our children were able to have a Jewish education thanks to the foresight and effort of parents, grandparents, and other generations that came before us. We feel that we have an obligation to support education in Jewish values and promote the continuance of the Jewish people for those who will follow us. We see value in this not only to sustain the culture of our people, but also because the lessons of Torah and the continued tikkun olam of future generations will make the world a better place.
San Diego was home to my father before the turn of the 20th century. It was still home to his descendants as the 21st century came over the horizon and with the hopes of a continuing tradition, the family will always remain here.
I am proud that I have been a close observer of the development of our Jewish community and the enrichment of our cultural life as we continue to preserve the memories of those who came before us and for those to whom the torch is passed.
The gift of giving fulfills my obligation as a Jewish woman to a city and a community of people that has brought many honors and happiness to my life. It has endowed me with the privilege of performing tzedakah in the names of my parents, George and Anna Shelley and my late husband, Morton Thaler and myself.
Nessim and Sarah Tiano
We were both born in New York City to parents who came to the USA from Turkey in 1920. Growing up as Sephardic Jews, we were taught to always share our good fortune with people who are less fortunate and in need of assistance.
As a result, we have embraced the principle of Tzedakah, and we believe that our children will continue this family tradition. We recognize the importance of endowments and we hope that our legacy gifts to the Jewish community, including the Lion of Judah endowment, will not only help to provide the assistance needed by the less fortunate, but will also insure the preservation of our heritage, culture and traditions.
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join the Legacy Circle and sign the Book of Life because I am eternally grateful and appreciative to Adat Yeshurun and Jewish communities around the world. I first came to Adat because when my father visited me in San Diego, shortly after losing my mom, he felt instantly welcomed and at home davening with Rabbi and the daily minyan. The family of Adat readily absorbed and engaged my dad, and it eased his loneliness and helped him through his grief. I began attending each Shabbat with him, and when he returned to New York, I felt so much a part of this shul that I joined and became active on committees as well as attending classes to stretch and grow in my own observance. Since then I have had the delightful opportunities to accept kind invitations for Shabbat dinners, lunches and community festivities. It is a very special group, filled with love, purpose and Yiddishkeit previously unknown to me. I proudly join the Legacy Circle and sign the Book of Life so that future generations can celebrate their unique attachment to Judaism and experience this encompassing and unique community. Thank you.
Nancy and Robert Tuggle
Our parents are survivors of the Holocaust and they have instilled in us a commitment to the mitzvah of Tzedaka, the Jewish community and the State of Israel.
We have been truly blessed to be a part of the Congregation Beth El community and were hoping to give back in some way. Congregation Beth El has welcomed us and been there for us through the ups and downs of life, forever reminding us that we, as a community, are one. Our hope is to have a strong Jewish community for generations to come.
I endowed my annual UJF gift and other gifts because I believe in and feel passionate about the San Diego Jewish community. I want to be sure that if anything happened to me, my gifts would continue to be given.
Since the untimely death of my husband at 41 years of age, I know how fragile life is and how one needs to prepare for the unexpected. Our Jewish community, both local and global, depends on my endowment gifts; therefore I want them to know that they will always be able to depend on me.
Louis and Tammy Vener
Ours is a special community. It flourishes not only because of the financial support of its members but also because many of us choose to affiliate, volunteer, involve ourselves with continued Jewish learning and to participate in some way to perpetuate the vitality of Jewish life in San Diego.
Through our professional work with Congregational Beth Israel, JCC and Jewish Family Service we have been especially blessed to touch the lives of so many families and children and to in turn be affected by them. Our legacy is a gift to future generations so that they may have the opportunity to enrich their Jewish lives.
Andrew and Erna Viterbi
With our experience as children escaping virulent European Anti-Semitism and as uprooted young refugees brought to America, in the ensuing half a century we have fulfilled the immigrant’s dream of acceptance, achievement and the establishment of roots by creating a multi-generational
To honor the memory of our parents who brought us to safety, freedom and opportunity, to further our support for the continuation and strengthening of Jewish life in this land, in Israel and throughout the world, and especially to set an example for our future generations, we endow our continuing philanthropic commitment.
As a child growing up in Brooklyn, I received a Jewish education and was taught the mitzvah of "tzedakah." I remember placing a few cents in a tin box (pushka) that hung on the wall. The continuation of Judaism rests with future generations. Jewish children growing up in our community should all have a religious education and be aware of their heritage.
For many years I taught religion at a residential treatment center for emotionally disturbed children at the Edenwold Center in Pleasantville, New York. Although I was a teacher and administrator in the New York City Schools, I received the most gratification teaching Judaism to these children; many could not afford this education.
It is my hope that all Jewish children in the San Diego community will grow up as delighted and grateful to be a Jew as I am. To me charity and community are closely linked. If we don’t help each other, who will? The giving of charity is greater than all offerings.
Buddy and Diane Voit
So much of our family life is focused around Congregation Beth Israel that we feel as though it is our second home. Being part of this vibrant and welcoming community has enriched our lives. It is important to us that future generations have the same opportunity to experience Judaism as we have. Through our legacy commitment we are helping to ensure that Congregation Beth Israel will continue to be a place where families come together to pray, learn, celebrate, and find comfort as a community.
Steve and Gerry Voit
Judaism has been a gift to us and we have always felt that it is the synagogue that makes Judaism live and endure. It is the place where we come to pray and learn and do and where we come to know our traditions and the wonderful values inherent in Judaism.
What greater blessing, then, to know that our children join us in an effort to make this a legacy for our children and grandchildren.
John and Cathy Weil
"From generation to generation"…Each of our families, though immigrants from different European communities and in different eras, benefited from a strong sense of Jewish community. Each passed on a compelling sense of pride in the American Jewish tradition to subsequent generations. Both the Bornstein/Schwabacher/Weil’s and the Yaffe/Magid’s felt an emotional attachment to their Jewish roots and participated in numerous Jewish organizations and "causes." They passed on the recognition and remembrance of what great value there is in preserving the Jewish legacy and collective spirit in the Diaspora. We recognize and were touched by that transcendent commitment to our enduring family and community identity when our daughter Jamie Babin chose Judaic Studies as one of her college majors. Her intent was to share a communal experience of "living Judaism" on campus and to be a well-educated Jewish mother for her children.
It is a blessing now for our family to join together to honor their challenges and recognize their struggles to preserve Jewish heritage and community spirit, often in difficult times. We treasure their memory and achievements and looking back with awe, reflecting on where we have been, and looking forward to what we can become.
Susan Chortek Weisman
Endowing my Lion of Judah gift to the United Jewish Federation Women’s Division will ensure that my tikkun olam continues and will serve as a role model for future generations.
Sydney and Cynthia Wexler
It is our hope that the chain of Jewish tradition will never be broken. We are grateful for having experienced this life together, for the blessings of family, and for the enrichment of life that Judaism has afforded us.
Brian and Celena Zimmerman
It is with great honor that we are able to have our signatures in the Book of Life. When we moved to San Diego seven years ago, we knew we wanted to give our children a Jewish education. We currently have three children in the Soille Hebrew Day School, and it brings us much nachas to see our children growing into such amazing young people. It is our hope that our legacy will help make it possible for our grandchildren and great- grandchildren to attend the Hebrew Day school and continue the traditions that our children are learning and living today.